Hello church family and welcome to our first devotional! Today we will meditate on what it means to have patience and why that is so important for the faithful to grow deeper in faith. The Bible is a story that spans thousands of years the beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the restoration of the world. But in between those events include generations of people trying (and usually failing) to be faithful to God and trust in God's justice and mercy. Why do they so often fail? Likely because of how 'slow' it can seem God moves. In other words, they lack patience. We aren't too unlike our ancient scriptural ancestors in that regard. With the arrival and development of technology our attention spans have gone down considerably according to research. For these reasons Paul wrote to his contemporaries words that apply to us as well. A christian is to be patient. Today's blog will have you reading snippets of stories from the well known story of Joseph. I encourage you to carefully take attention of the time jumps that occur. We'll discuss this more below!
Scripture to Read:
Genesis 41: 1, 37-40 (scroll down to see the second set of scripture)
Questions to Consider
If you were to give yourself a grade on a scale of 1-10 on how patient you consider yourself - what score would you get? What practices can you pick up to raise that?
Suggested activity: Start a stopwatch on your phone/watch and close your eyes and meditate on the silence. How long can you go before you feel the urge to check the time? (You might be shocked how hard it is to go a full minute!)
Reflect on a time where your patience payed off. As you reflect on this consider how God might have been moving in your story.
“Joseph waited over 13 years before his prophetic promise was fulfilled. Moses waited 40 years before he had his divine encounter with the flaming voice of God. David waited and waited in his cave as an exile until he took the crown and the throne. Jesus waited 30 years before he heard the voice that commissioned Him for His public ministry. If you feel like you're waiting for your prayers to be answered or for your big break to happen - you're in good company.
Waiting is not wasted time, it is secluded time giving God the opportunity to form our inner being and prepare us for glory. The Hebrew word for "wait" is literally "to entwine" -- like strands of a rope twisted into one. Your time of waiting may "twist" you, but it's meant to form you into the fullness of the image of Christ."
"Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!" (Psalm 27:14 The Passion Translation)
Praying the Hymns
I've got two options for hymns to consider for today on the topic of patience. First is a more "traditional" option with Taize and the second is a contemporary song with some fantastic lyrics. (rare for contemporary christian music, haha.) I invite you to listen and mediate on whichever song your heart is more pulled towards.
Traditional (Taize Meditation)
Taize is a chant based hymn. You will sing the same words over and over and over again. Once they become familiar enough you can focus more thought on the meaning rather than trying to remember what comes next. It's extremely peaceful.
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near
Wait for the Lord, keep watch, take heart.